Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING


 

LIVING                                                                           OCTOBER 2014                        
 

THE BAPTISM



The invitation was tasteful, no sloppy message, just the names of the parents, the God-parents, the venue of the church and the restaurant afterwards; the Hotel London, in Glyfada.

Mr. L looked presentable on the day, trim beard, an occasional smile. I wore a cheesecloth maxi dress, crocheted black bolero, black sling-back heels and a scowl on my face, the effect of heels on my psyche.

Number 3 was with us (beloved daughter) and looked stunning in a simple black maxi skirt, white crop-top, flat sandals (and still taller than me), no make-up and long lose hair.

Not wanting to miss the Agios Nektarios, we rushed out; I wet hair, no time to search for my waist-slip. In Piraeus, I optimistically hoped I’d find a kiosk selling waist-slips but no joy; I could only buy a wallet or a belt, even a baseball cap!

Mr. L hailed a taxi and we headed for the church. We arrived punctually, at midday, the sun blazing, everyone looking elegant, most women in maxi dresses plus waist-slips. We sought refuge in the coolness of the church, delighted to find seats that had a good view of the font…only Mr. L and I desperately needed to go to the toilet, we had after all been travelling for 3 hours. Beloved wanted to watch the baby being immersed in the Holy water and hissed at us to hurry up; she’d keep our seats.

I held onto Mr. L’s arm, my feet swollen and blistered, incapable of looking elegant in my diaphanous dress (no waist slip and critical sun). Ten minutes we walked and walked unable to find either a café or a bar until we stumbled upon a school, open for cleaning and maintenance. We begged the stern looking cleaner to allow us to use the toilet, Mr. L explaining that we’d hurried from island Aegina to attend our cousin’s baby’s baptism. I flashed a pained smile which I think she interpreted as desperation and she noticed too the diamond flashing on my finger which she took to mean decent and nodded for us to go in. Relief!!!! Thank you God for schools and charitable cleaners

We arrived back at the church and found beloved. She sulked at us and sneered. “You’ve missed it all and I can see right through your dress!”

Outside, we queued for bonbonierres (simple, non-pretentious ones) and ice cream. I had chocolate and vanilla, so did beloved. MrL opted for vanilla and complained when the ice-cream dripped down the cone. We sought a small patch of shade whereupon one of Mr. L’s cousins bounded up to us, lots of kisses and affection. Looking 10 years younger than her actual age of 70, a smartly dressed wiry woman with lots of nervous energy, the last time I saw her , she had screamed insults at Mr. L and there she was, bouncy and amnesic, offering us a lift to the hotel. We accepted.

The Hotel London, soulless but well used to hosting family parties. The tables were set round a swimming pool that appeared not to have an entrance as it was completely fenced in. Some of the little children busied themselves throwing leaves into the water which was much more fun than having their faces painted

We were placed on a table with other cousins, glossy, glamorous educated youngsters, one studying to be a pilot and his cover-girl girlfriend, studying marketing. When they weren’t snogging each other, they were good company for Beloved. Being quite glossy herself but in a natural way, she is a hero in the family, an honorary Greek, an urban animal inhabiting an island, someone worth having your photo take with.”Over here, now come and have a photo taken with us “they all yelled, taking it in turns to change family members. I smiled demurely without standing up, (no waist slip) but we have a good one of her sandwiched between the two of us. She has mastered the art of simple Greek dancing and was pulled up by the wiry cousin who is admiringly agile and light on her feet. Finally, somehow, Beloved was left dancing with one other girl who coincidentally was wearing a long black skirt and a white crop top. They looked as if they were a professional act and the applause was deafening.

Self esteem bubbling over; I was delighted that she had had this experience to take away with her to the UK, a great memory, a good photograph on her notice-board.


 

Alison Lorentzos                                                             copyright 2013

 

 

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